NBL Team Watch: Brisbane Bullets
THE National Basketball League (NBL) and its sides are preparing for an exciting 2021-22 season, with plenty of sides looking to bolster their rosters following less than ideal seasons. After an indifferent and inconsistent season, the Brisbane Bullets will be looking to change things up from their 2020-21 ways. With some impressive domestic and international talent added to an already solid roster, the Bullets should look a different team when they suit up in a couple of months time.
It was a season of highs and lows for the Bullets, with their best showcasing moments of magic that toppled even the best sides in the league. Sadly, their season faltered when they faced off against the lower ranked sides as they lacked the flow between offence and defence on a consistent basis. Their season began to finally gain some rhythm in the back end of the year, with wins over a number of finals bound sides including the reigning premier team in the Perth Wildcats. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done and their season came to a halt at the end of the regular season with a record of 18 wins and 18 losses, which saw them miss a postseason appearance.
With Nathan Sobey delivering an outstanding season that saw him named to the All-NBL first team, it was evident the side had some of the pieces necessary to wreak havoc in the postseason and all they had to do was retain crucial players and surround them with the right pieces. The side has been very active in the postseason in recruiting new players, particularly those coming from overseas.
French youngster Tom Digbeu joins the side as an NBL Next Star addition, with hopes of following in the footsteps of LaMelo Ball, R.J Hampton and Josh Giddey in using the NBL as a path to the NBA. At 19-years-old, Digbeu injects some youth to the side, while still maintaining the level of experience required to strive at NBL level, having played professionally in Lithuania.
Joining Digbeu in the side is Chinese big man Liu Chuanxing, who will be the NBL’s tallest ever player, and should benefit from greater opportunity. New Zealander Jack Salt has also been announced as joining the team, following stints in the United States and the NZNBL. Deng Deng will also suit up for the Bullets following an impressive season with the Illawarra Hawks, while Isaiah Moss will bring the scoring prowess that gained him success in the NZNBL.
The Bullets’ busy offseason demonstrates their desire to produce a successful season in the 2021-22 season. If Sobey can deliver a similar season to his NBL20 campaign and their recruits can fire, the Bullets may find themselves right in the hunt for a championship once again.
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